Jun 09, 2022

"Brazil's 2022/23 Crops are Saved" Declares Brazil's Ag Minister

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

When the war between Russia and Ukraine started earlier this year, there was a concern in Brazil if there would be enough fertilizers available for the 2022/23 crops because Brazil needs to import 85% of its fertilizer needs and Russia and Belarus are major suppliers of fertilizers for Brazil.

Those concerns may have now eased because on Tuesday of this week, Brazil's Minister of Agriculture, Marcos Montes, announced that there will be adequate fertilizers available for the next crops in Brazil and that "Brazil's 2022/23 crops are saved."

Efforts between Brazil and Russia seemed to have paid off since fertilizers continue to arrive in Brazil despite difficulties with arranging ocean freight and sanctions. Minister Montes cited a recent conversation with the CEO of the fertilizer company Mosaic where he indicated that Brazil was able to secure fertilizer supplies ahead of some other countries.

During the first five months of 2022, Brazil has imported 16.5% more fertilizers compared to the same period in 2021 according to the maritime agency Cargonave. From January through May, Brazil imported 16.6 million tons of fertilizers compared to 14.2 million in 2021. In May, fertilizer deliveries totaled 3.36 million tons which was up 15,000 tons compared to May of 2021.

The increase occurred despite sanctions imposed against Russia and Belarus. Importers front-loaded their fertilizer purchases earlier this year when it became apparent that Russia might invade Ukraine. Grain and fertilizers were not part of the sanctions levied against Russia and Belarus, but some financial institutions were sanctioned, which made hiring vessels and paying for the fertilizers more complicated. Brazil was able to continue receiving fertilizers from Russia by routing payments through non-sanctioned financial institutions.

The amount of fertilizers imported into Brazil from January through May totaled 5.5 million tons of potassium, 2.3 million tons of urea, and 1.6 million tons of phosphorus.

Brazilian farmers will start planting their 2022/23 first corn crop in late August and their soybeans in mid-September.